Chibi Kodama | What’s a Chibi Kodama?
What’s a Chibi Kodama?

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Chibi Kodama is all-ages indie rock for kids and families.

Call us “Kindie” rock, alt-rock for kids, Family rock, whatever… we’re here to make big, encouraging rock music that the whole family can enjoy.

We aim to put our heart and soul into our music… read on to find out why.

My name is John Cullimore.

I’m the husband of an amazing woman named Yvonne, and the father of 5 incredible little girls.

Life is an adventure. My life is an adventure filled with short people who are very magical.

We’ve made it our goal and intention to write music that we want to listen to, singing about the struggles that we trudge through as a family. We strive to bring encouragement, love and laughter to our performances and make a way for folk of all ages to sing and laugh through the highs and lows of life. 

We believe that family is precious, and it must be encouraged to grow strong. We believe that we are frail and need to build each other up with love and laughter. We believe that failure is essential to growing and learning, and we sing a good bit about that too. 

So, our name? Well… 

The Kodama are magical beings. In the movie, Princess Mononoke, they were forest spirits who could seem pretty intimidating at first (if you’re a parent, you can relate to this in looking into the eyes of an upset little girl) but they also lead the main characters on some pretty incredible journeys to life and healing. 

Chibi means short, or small person or thing. Kids are short. ***usually***

So, the name refers to short, magical people who take you on magical adventures.

Our music came from some pretty brazen inspiration. One day I was listening to a couple of my favorite, more kid-friendly Weezer songs from their first album on a drive with my family. Rivers Cuomo can sometimes have a real knack for a catchy tune, huge, rockin sound and deceptively simple lyrics that are dropping huge meaning.

One of their songs, Surfwax USA was on. My then 10-year-old was belting out, “You take your car to work! I’ll take my board! And when you’re out of fuel I’m still afloat!” I was thinking, wow, this would make great kid music… but that’d be pretty lame to just rip someone off like that. 

IMG_20151213_0712560_rewindBut then I came across an article from an article about songwriting where this fella truly inspired me to not be afraid of being a copycat of style… at least not initially. He basically said that all art, no matter in what form, is a ripoff. It’s true that there’s nothing new. Instead of pretending and deceiving yourself into believing that you can make something truly original, why not focus on what you like. Dissect it. Tear it apart. Remake it with your own lyrics. Yes… rip it off.

So, I did.

I studied the tones and sounds on the “Blue” album, and just had a blast writing some kids music. It was wayyyyyy outside of my box, and I’ve been loving it. It was a short little set of songs to start with, but over the last year and a half it’s morphed into far more than I thought. I started with a set of rules: basic rock setup, doing guitar tones similar to old Weezer/Smashing Pumpkins, and went from there.

I wanted to make 90’s era, fun, poppy rock music that kids could enjoy with parents of our age group. Yes, They Might Be Giants can be fun, but now and then we were wanting a bit more emotionalism. We’re a pretty emotional family. (and that’s not a bash at having 5 girls… I… dad, am the ring leader of emotionalism here)

Our songs are simple tales of what it is to be a kid. Tunes they can relate to, learn from, vent through, and skin their knee by.

All of these have come from direct experience… and yes, children and parents were harmed, and hugged in the making of this music.

We hope that you enjoy singing along and belting out some harmonies.

And please, we’re always looking for more subjects and inspiration for new songs. So feel free to drop a comment in our “Song Ideas” page and we’ll see what we can do as time goes by!

To read a bit more about why we make the we make music for kids the way we do, check out “5 Reasons we make the kids music we do”

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